Self-defense is a term that people may understand intuitively. If someone is physically attacking us, we should be able to defend ourselves to the extent necessary to protect ourselves. Under New Jersey law, the right to self-defense generally arises when you reasonably believe that using force is necessary to protect yourself against another person’s unlawful force.
A man in another state recently had assault charges dropped after a video surfaced of him slapping a woman on the subway. The cellphone footage showed that the man acted to fend off the woman, who started the altercation.
The woman first taunted the man about his jacket, which the man says was a gift from a friend. He keeps his back turned, but when the woman hits him in the back with her purse, the man, a 6 foot, 6 inch bouncer, slaps her in the face, knocking her to the floor.
Authorities initially charged the man, but after viewing the video they chose to drop the charges.
Given the size of the defendant, some readers might wonder if his actions were appropriate. His defense attorney notes that everyone has the right to defend themselves against violence, and that this was a case of self-defense within its legal definition.
It is not clear why the woman was so aggressive against the man, besides apparently not liking his jacket. The man’s attorney says that she should be the one facing criminal charges.
Anyone charged with a crime should speak to an attorney before answering questions from the police.